Sunday, 20 January 2013

Can you hack it?

We thought we would set you a challenge in our latest blog.

We woke up this morning to find there was no power, when Dan checked we found out there is a new loadshedding schedule. We are now up to 14 hours of power cuts a day. So we wanted to see if you could manage 14 hours a day with no power. So for example today’s schedule is from 7am-3pm, then 7pm-1am with no power. Every day is different so you need to plan each day according to the schedule.  So here is how we manage.

1. Water: Our shower water is heated electrically so no hot showers during the power cuts. You can have a cold one if you’re really desperate. We also use an electrically powered water filter for drinking water so you cannot filter water during those hours. We have enough bottles to store about 12 litres of water so assuming they are all full we have that much water for drinking and cooking with during the power cuts. Of course we have to make sure we fill them up again when the power comes on. Last night we forgot (as we thought we had power this morning) so we had about 5 litres to get us through to 3pm.

2. Cooking: Our oven is electric so we can’t cook anything using the oven during those hours, we have 3 rings on our gas hob. We now have two evenings a week with power when we can use the oven. All other meals must be cooked on three gas rings.

Sitting under the light to read
3. Electrical items: We have a backup system so can have a light on when there is no power and can charge our  computer or phone if we have too, but we try to keep these charged during power time so we are not using our back up system too much. We put things onto charge overnight as that is often when we get the most power. However, despite having a backup system, during power cuts we cannot use the TV or the washing machine and the fridge-freezer is off. We only keep things in the freezer for a few days at the most as the fridge and freezer are now off for 14 hours a day so not much stays frozen in there especially when the weather begins to warm up next month.

So our challenge to you is can you hack it? Could you stick to our rules above and manage 14 hours a day with no power, limiting your water usage, timing your showers, planning your meals appropriately. If you’re really hard core and want to try it for real we can send you a weeks schedule and you can try for a week to live Nepali style.

We also ask that while you read this and if you try our challenge that you remember we are very fortunate with our back up system. It costs about £250-300 for the kind of backup system that we have. This amount of money is far too much for the average Nepali. So while we complain, many Nepalis are sat in the dark evening after evening with just candle light to see by.

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